The Thomas Court is Coming

The first thing I want to do today is to welcome back my former (and future?) cooblogger Jessica Hoff back to her first current affairs post in a bit more than four years. I have missed her sense, her humor (or is that humour), her British take on American affairs, and her ability to read my mind. Welcome back, dearest friend 🙂 xxx

With her remarks last night after taking the oath as an Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett gave us a master class on what a US judge is supposed to be, here it is:

This, like the entire speech, is both remarkable and heartening.

I have spent a good amount of time over the last month at the Senate; both in meetings with individual senators and in days of hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The confirmation process has made ever-clearer to me one of the fundamental differences between the federal judiciary and the United States Senate, and perhaps the most acute is the role of policy preferences. It is the job of a senator to pursue her policy preferences; in fact, it would be a dereliction of duty to put policy goals aside.

By contrast, it is the job of a judge to resist her policy preferences.  It would be a dereliction of duty for her to give in to them. Federal judges don’t stand for election, thus they have no basis for claiming that their preferences reflect those of the people. This separation of duty from political preference is what makes the judiciary distinct among the three branches of government. A judge declares independence not only from Congress and the president, but also from the private beliefs that might otherwise move her. The judicial oath captures the essence of the judicial duty; the rule of law must always control.

That is exactly like the founder’s intended. As for her personally, I like the way Jessica put it this morning.

Amy Coney Barrett did it without sacrificing her womanhood. She did not do what so many career women have had to do, which is to choose a predominantly male way (job first) over her kids. Not only did she adopt two black orphans, she has a Downes syndrome child whom she chose not to abort. What’s not to like? You’d have thought that feminists everywhere would be throwing their bras over the windmill (no, don’t go there, a lady never tells), so why the hoo-hah? It’s that last bit. She didn’t have an abortion. Not only that, she is an actual practising Catholic, not a Pelsoian/Biden Catholic (that is one who wants the vote but not the faith).

Well, except that I doubt Justice Barrett, or Jess for that matter, is any sort of feminist that we see in the 21st Century. Neither of them either needed or wanted anything other than a chance to let their light shine. I’m quite sure that either of them is quite content to be rewarded for what they do, not because they are women, but because they are the best at what they do. And that is at it should be

It was fascinating that Justice Thomas swore her in, for at least two reasons

First, he is the very man that Joe Biden when he was Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee attempted to, in Justice Thomas’sown words, to lynch in the hearings. To see him sweary in Ms. Coney oh Hillary’s birthday had to hurt.

When President Bush nominated Justice Thomas, he called him the most qualified for the job, The left loudly dissented. But as The Daily Signal says:

Bush was right. Thomas was the best qualified, because he was a fiercely independent thinker with an unwavering commitment to decide cases based on what the Constitution said, not what he or the public wanted in the moment. Bush knew that Thomas had these qualities because he had watched Thomas go through fire during the Reagan administration.

As a black conservative intellectual, Thomas has been an existential threat to the liberal ruling class since he joined the Reagan administration in May 1981. As chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Thomas earned the very public enmity of the civil rights establishment for opposing quotas and racial preferences.

On the court, Thomas is an originalist, a justice who believes that the Constitution’s provisions must be interpreted consistent with the original meaning when they were ratified. Liberals do not believe a black man can legitimately hold these views.

In his 29 years on the court, Thomas, even more than Justice Scalia, has written the originalist canon. Some 700 opinions, combined with a willingness to revisit precedent when necessary. This makes a generational change in the court, at least as long as we hold the Presidency and/or the Senate.

Imagine that, judges who rule based on the law, not politics or whatever they think might work. It’s not a new day exactly though. This is exactly what the Federal courts were from the beginning until they lost their nerve at Franklin Roosevelt’s threat to pack the court.

If they do little but force Congress to again legislate, we will start to improve.

 

Vote next Tuesday, for America

About Neo
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5 Responses to The Thomas Court is Coming

  1. the unit says:

    I won’t say it,… what one may read in lots of comments. “Like I said years ago this that and etc.” 🙂
    Why legislators of all parties like E.O.s? To be able to tell constituents…”I didn’t do it.”
    Yep, make legislators put up or…place in the Schiff can. Best place, there’s enough laws that we all could be found guilty of something.
    Oops, I said it then and again. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Neo says:

      Yep, I’ve been saying it for years. They want the money and the prestige, but they don’t want the responsibility of doing their damned jobs. Maybe that’s starting to change. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. the unit says:

    That re-examining/re-visit precedent, uh, court maybe thought it might’ve been mistaken once before… but it was mistaken. Well, maybe. You know the joke. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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